Northumbria University graduate Kerry-Anne Hastings has admitted captaining her country on the European stage was the highlight of her sporting career.
The talented hockey star has just returned from the Czech Republic where she skippered Scotland Under 21 to fifth place in the EuroHockey Junior Championships II.
And that was just weeks after Hastings learned she’d gained a first class honours degree in Applied Sports Science.
Hastings has been part of the Scotland set-up for several seasons and in her final year as an Under 21 player she was handed the captain’s armband.
Scotland’s young guns recovered from an opening day defeat to Russia to go unbeaten in their next four matches - including three straight wins to wrap up fifth spot.
“Firstly, I feel very honoured to be considered as a leader and grateful to be given the opportunity to lead such a strong Scottish squad in my final U21 European Tournament,” said Hastings.
“This has most definitely been the pinnacle of my hockey career. I’ll never forget it!”
Scotland bounced back from a 7-0 thumping at the hands of eventual winners Russia before bagging a battling 1-1 draw against the hosts.
Hastings and co. narrowly failed to make the semi-finals on goal difference despite an impressive 3-0 win against Turkey.
But the Scots claimed back-to-back wins against Ukraine and Poland with Hastings drawing praise from coach Neil Menzies for her solid display at the back throughout the tournament.
“Kerry was particularly solid in our draw with the Czech Republic,” he said. “A lot of players had good spells but Kerry was one of those who was unfazed by the occasion and handled the pressure well.”